Johnny Sexton named Leinster captain for new season
Leo Cullen: ‘Johnny is a player and person always striving to improve and get better’
Johnny Sexton is the new Leinster captain. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
The 33-year-old St Mary’s College RFC man takes over from the recently retired Isa Nacewa.
Sexton, who has won 76 Ireland caps and has represented the British and Irish Lions on 14 occasions, made his Leinster debut in January 2006 and has added a further 147 caps since then, becoming the all-time leading Leinster points scorer in the process with 1,344 points to date.
In his time with Leinster he has won four Heineken Champions Cup trophies, a Challenge Cup trophy and three Celtic League/Pro14 trophies.
Ruddock, 27, is also a St Mary’s College RFC club man and has won 19 Ireland caps. He made his Leinster debut in December 2009 and has won 142 caps in total for Leinster, scoring seven tries. He has won a Challenge Cup, three Pro12/14 titles and added a Heineken Champions Cup medal last season.
Commenting on the appointment of both Sexton and Ruddock, head coach Leo Cullen said:
“Johnny is a player and person who is always striving to improve and get better and he has driven incredibly high standards during his time at Leinster, where he has become one of the most decorated players in the game.
“He has already carried out the role of captain of the team on a number of occasions and we are very fortunate to be able to announce Johnny as club captain for the 2018/19 season as he is a player that greatly deserves this honour.
“He is hugely excited by the challenge of leading his teammates over the course of the season as we look to maximise the team’s potential.
“Likewise Rhys, we have seen him grow into an outstanding leader at Leinster and indeed he has captained Ireland on tour to Japan and again last season against Fiji and I think that this appointment today is further evidence of that growth.
“You couldn’t get two players that better represent the values and behaviours that we want to be judged on than Johnny and Rhys and I look forward to working even closer with them over the coming months.”
Leinster play Montauban this Friday away from home in the first of their pre-season friendlies. They will then face Newcastle Falcons at Energia Park on Friday August 17th at 7pm.